Peter Anderson Festival gives much needed break from economic hard times

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX)- Downtown Ocean Springs is completely transformed this weekend.  The Peter Anderson Festival is filling the streets with people, and businesses and vendors are cashing in.

"It's wonderful; it's a wonderful show. Everybody's wanting to know where I sell it locally," Dell Cochran said about her pottery. "Everybody's taking my cards and always wanting to buy extras for Christmas."

Dell Cochran is happy to see the festival bigger than ever.  This is her sixth year selling hand-crafted pottery here, and she feared it would be the worst.

"I was worried about the economy this year, whether or not we'd do very well," Cochran said. "But people are always looking for small pieces."

The booming festival is a welcome change for businesses in downtown Ocean Springs.  Some shops will rake in more profits this weekend than they would in a regular month.

"It boosts business because as an increase of small vendors that sell arts and crafts," said business owner Angelos Apeitos. "Everybody's located in front of businesses that sell food. It's great. It brings people in from out of town. The roads are blocked; it slows traffic down."

Apeitos' restaurant, Mediterraneo, just opened two weeks ago in downtown Ocean Springs. Peter Anderson is helping the restaurant overcome the challenge of opening in an economic downturn.

Mediterraneo co-owner Chalid Zayed said, "there's no more perfect opportunity for people to try our food out, especially with all the traffic flowing through here."

The festival wraps up Sunday afternoon at 4pm.